Friday, June 1, 2012

Cats and Systemic Candida

My girls! Cafe (tan) and Aulait (white)

It's been almost 3 years since I got sick with systemic candida, or actually I should say, since both of my cats and I got so very sick. All of us had been sick with something before. For me, I was just diagnosed with hyperthyroidism (September 2006) and had low-to-no energy and looked like a skeleton. And it was because I needed to relax more and stay at home to eat better and sleep better that I got my first cat, my beautiful white Aulait. She was 4 months old and was everything I wanted in a cat - a female, not long or short hair, not afraid of dogs (she played with the leash of my neighbor's dog that I was walking when I stumbled across the new pet shop!), and from a loving environment (the owners at the pet shop allowed the 5 four-month old kittens to just walk around the entire pet shop - how awesome!) Well, within a month of getting Aulait, I realized she had food allergies to the canned food "EVO" or was it "EVOLVE". She farted hugely when she ate the wet food so I changed to another brand, but I still gave her the dry EVO(LVE). Another month later, she bloated and stopped playing. When I took her off of the dry food, within three days she was her joyful self! As she was growing up, I did notice that over time, she got pickier and pickier about the foods she would eat.

First day for Cafe to play after getting the cat killing disease - panleukopenia
And then after a year, Aulait so loudly and over and over again demanded companionship, so one day I spontaneously went to the "meat market". Well, it is the street where teeny kitties and puppies are the products of a thriving business and the poor babies are known to also be the products of overbreeding. I bought Cafe from a tiny boutique that seemed to give better care to its animals. And within four days, Cafe had the cat killing disease panleukopenia, a very contagious white blood cell disease. I didn't know anything about the disease or maybe I would have taken her back to the shop, but for the next 3 weeks, she was pretty darn sick and only survived because we barely caught the disease in time. She luckily pulled through but her GI track was very compromised ... I wasn't aware how badly but was told to keep her on a strict diet for six months to let it heal.

So three years ago, all three of us suddenly got sick ... and the source of our sickness I traced to our tap water which I stupidly was drinking and stupidly was giving to the cats. What made me finally figure out the prob was my cheeks inside my mouth felt like they were being pinched whenever I drank the water. And then I started noticing how much white sediment or deposits were around my faucet and in my dish drip tray, more than that at my friends' houses and other places around the city. Chlorine? Likely but not sure. But that whiteness had been ever increasing since the river directly beside my house had been, and was still being, excavated.

Cafe was the sickest at first. Her very weakened GI track from before resulted in kidney problems and at age 2 she painfully started passing sandy crystals. The vet put her on a low protein diet and for 6 months she was OK, and then she relapsed. The vet was surprised she relapsed so soon, and it was pretty bad, so I had to put her to sleep. 2 1/2 years only .... so very young and so very sweet.

Well, by this time Aulait and I were very sick, and very weirdly we shared some symptoms although I was having horrible bone problems and she seemed less affected in that department. We've both had neuropathies, hers much worse than mine, we've had inflammation in our eyes and elsewhere (I can tell by how she held herself that she was having arthritis and other flexibility issues). But while we both felt badly, I could treat myself more specifically. I could do liver and gall bladder detoxes, eat onions and garlic for cleansing the blood (cats are allergic to both), and go regularly in for vitamin A and D tests. Aulait wasn't doing so well after I put Cafe to sleep so I took her in to the vet and had her tested. Outcome - thrombocytopenia, a white blood cell problem and an autoimmune disease. Her full diagnosis was:
thrombocytopenia: utilization - destruction -  lack of production
lymphocytosis/monocystosis: excitement - antigen stimulation - neoplasia
borderline polycythemia (erythrocytosis)
borderline low MCHC
suspected nucleated red blood cells

Her bloodwork:

HCT ......... 36.2% ........... 24.0 - 25.0 ▲
HGB ........ 13.3 g/dL ....... 8.0 - 15.0
MCHC ..... 28.8 g/dL ...... 30.0 - 36.9 ▼
GRANS ... 4.7 x103ו .… 2.5 – 12.5
……. %Grans …. 28%
L/M ….… 12.1  x103ו ... 1.5 – 7.8
……. %L/M …... 72%
PLT …….. 21 x103ו ….. 175 – 500
Retics …... 0.7%
NRBCs … likely
And the vet told me I would have to bring her in regularly (every 4 months) for life to get testing and treatment. Well, I did take her in every four months when her energy was depleted, and Aulait got expensive testing, and then pharmaceutical treatment for 10 days or so and then retesting to see if the therapy worked. After the 3rd time of taking her in, I decided to try diet control in a different way than I had with Cafe. I had syringe-fed Cafe for 6 months a special kidney support low calcium mush-food that helped, so I started syringe-feeding Aulait nutrients, mostly barley green which is very high in vitamin Bs, which I knew would benefit her nerves and maybe help with the neuropathies she was having.  Well, she stopped having energy-loss relapses! And for the next two years she didn't go to the vet's except for her annual inoculations.

Spirulina - she never could eat spirulina neatly like the other supplemental powders.
That didn't stop her ongoing increase in food allergies though. She expressed more and more dislike at foods she had happily eaten before, AND she started having water allergies AT THE SAME TIME I WAS HAVING THEM with seemingly similar reactions!!!! (See Reaction to Bottled Water - headaches and numbness) From this time onward, she stopped going to her water bowl until she was really thirsty and then she would do a little foot scrape dance before she would lap just a few times and then scurry away, with her fur crawling horribly on her back.

Over the past several months I'd really upped her nutritional supplements that I syringed into her mouth. Such a sweet trusting baby. She would just open her mouth and half lap, half back-tongue-action the liquid down quickly. She got barley green, barley green and bee pollen (the latter which is extremely high in vitamin Bs but also with natural sugar so I can't take this for candida - I've suspected Aulait as having the exact same problems as myself since almost the beginnings so I didn't use this in the beginning; later, I used it to see if it's help since I was running out of options. It did a bit. Anyway, both Aulait's neuropathies and candida mess with vitamin Bs and Aulait definitely needed vitamin B to help with her nervous disorder, so I would mix a little bee pollen with the barley green. She loved the taste and if I kept the bee pollen percentage small, her neuropathies temporarily disappeared). Over the past months via syringe I've given her spirulina (she's not particularly fond of this), mullen leaf powder (she likes it), catnip tea (she hates it), and of course also syringed in anti-inflammatory oils like flax seed oil (yuk from her!), cod liver oil (yuk!), evening primrose oil (a bit yukky) and olive oil (sometimes yuk). Although she hated the ickiness of the oils, she was calmer afterwards and her neuropathies were less!

She still got worse though. The last few months I've been syringing three times a day for her. I even syringed dextrose based on the vet's recommendation. It helped her sudden bouts of hypoglycemia, but I had to be careful to not give her too much dextrose ... or she would have horrendous neuropathies that made her madly lick her four paws, her back, her tail, and to "escape" the creepiness she would race all over the apartment in madness. So terrible to watch. Whenever I saw her having one of these bouts (caused by food, wrong supplements, too much dextrose, or even hunger), I would quickly mix barley green with a little bee pollen and syringe it in her mouth and then feed her a wet food that was made from meat and not processed filler "meat" like in the canned Fancy Feast (that brand gave Aulait the worst neuropathies!). She got so she would come and "tell" me when the problems started, because we both figured out that if we could address the problem early, it would be easy to "fix". She had these strange hypoglycemic-neuropathy attacks at least 2-3 times a day in the end.

On May 30 I couldn't stand watching her struggle with her problems anymore. She also seemed to be starting to have pain as her eyelids were usually heavy and she looked dull. She had long since stopped playing much ... and the day I dreaded came when I knew her quality of life was too poor to go on. So I had her put to sleep. Tough decision but she no longer suffers, so in that respect, we are both at peace.

The vitamin loaded powders for Aulait: barley green, bee pollen, alfalfa powder, mugwort powder

Mixing nutritional supplements for syringing

Left to right (back): dextrose, spirulina, barley green, bee pollen; (front) spirulina mixture, bee pollen and barley green mixture
Barley green for Aulait
I don't really know what happened with Cafe, but I think we were all exposed to a horrendous bacteria that attacked our weakest areas - for Cafe, it was her already compromised GI track. [But then as I read somewhere, 70% of diseases start in the GI track!] Even though the vet that diagnosed her with renal sand said she was eventually going to suffer kidney failure, I think the bigger cause of her death was of a bacteria, aka systemic candida. She had a lot of the tell-tale symptoms: very bad breath, extremely waxy ears, and intolerance to foods (but not as bad as Aulait).

Aulait certainly was suffering from a bacteria. We shared so many symptoms it was crazy - food sensitivities, odor sensitivities (Aulait was extremely sensitive), neuropathies, inability to make decisions when at our worst, extreme tiredness, and so many more. Poor baby, to be so sick from food ... But baby, we so understood each other and for seven years we were always there for each other! Now rest and be at peace.


  1. I came across your blog trying to source the cause of my cat's symptoms and am oh so very sad to read it. My heart felt sympathy and empathy for what you have had to go through.
    I hope that you manage to sort your own health issues out and all I else I can do is give cyber hugs!!!

  2. Thanks, Rob, I'm working through my issues and just wished I could have hit on a better solution for my cats. Anyway, hope you find solutions for your baby. There's nothing like having a cat to turn a house into a home!

  3. Yes, tap water is toxic. Even a cheap Brita pitcher filter system can purify it a lot and the water will taste better, too. I bought my pitcher and charcoal filters at the supermarket.

    The white residue around faucets is a combination of mineral deposits. The worst likely is unpurified fluoride, a toxic industrial waste companies pay city and state governments for permission to dump into our water supply. This fluoride is not not purified like that found in toothpaste, although all fluoride is toxic. Deposited unevenly in bones and teeth where the body tries to wall it off, fluoride does make bones and teeth harder but also more brittle and prone to mottling, fracture and chipping.

    Web search fluoride toxicity to find tons of details.

    1. Thanks! You added a lot of info about fluoride that I didn't know. I will definitely search fluoride toxicity to find out more.

  4. Hi again, I'm a cat lover, too. Yes like humans cats can get candida overgrowth from carbs, which all digest rapidly into sugar. And as you've experienced candida can lodge anywhere in the body and in multiple places causing pain and other problems.

    Cats are carnivores and grains are not a natural part of their diet, except in weensy amounts when they eat the partly digested contents of rodents stomachs, which they do not always do.

    It is tough to find grainless catfood. In my experience with cats corn and wheat seem worst, rice, barley and vegetable fillers less so.

    PS A note on annual inoculations. I don't get them yourself and have stopped give them to my cats, who seem to me healthier forgoing them. There is tons of controversy about whether vaccines actually help or hurt. It turns out that just as in our bodies foreign invaders multiply and then are killed off in a natural cycle, so with bacterial and viral epidemics when they occur in populations.

  5. Me again, you don't have to publish all these comments. Really. My reason for writing is my heart goes out to you in your determination to find answers and you are so there for your cats, and it is so hard to sift through all the conflicting medical, health and nutritional info for ourselves and our animals.

    This time I'm writing about oils.

    There are conflicting opinions but enough evidence for me that generally unsaturated oils even flaxseed are not so good for cats, and some plant oils even are toxic. Maybe to us, too, and all warm blooded creatures. As warm blooded creatures our bodies naturally make saturated fats except for a small amount of Mead acids, the production of which stops when we eat unsaturated oils. Unlike saturated fats, think refrigerated marbled raw beef, unsaturated oils do not stiffen in cold, and fish, e.g., need the latter to stay flexible. But us? For starters read Ray Peat's articles on fats and fish raypeat dot com. Dr. Peat is a PhD biologist with research interests in nutrition and endocrinology.

    1. VERY insightful comments! Thank you for sharing. BTW, you seem well-read on animal nutrition. Could you recommend some online sources? or even books? And you're comments about saturated and unsaturated oils are very thought provoking. I never heard that spin but it is so logical ... and so against what "modern nutrition", shaped by pharmaceutical companies and driven by making-the-buck propagate to the public.

      I've spent the last 4 1/2 years trying to figure out what happened with our water supply (I so wish I had had it tested) and how it so compromised our health. I did what I could for my cats, and for me, but the solutions to health recovery are hidden by not really knowing the prob and the misleading info on what's "healthy". Big thanks for your insights.

  6. I'm sorry to read about your babies. My son 'Rotten' passed away a year ago and I am still looking for answers.

    In Rotten's case I believe the vets we took him to knew what was wrong and they refused to treat him knowing we would keep coming back again and again just to make money.

    I had some thoughts about what I read: the water, We use reverse-osmosis (the cheapest I found in our area is at Kroger it's 35 cents if your bring your own jug). Also, we put the water in glass bowls not plastic (read to much bad about that).

    As for the candida (which I have), first thing in the morning, before you eat/drink etc, is run some cold water in a clear glass and spit into it, it may take up to 15-30 min to see something , or if you're like me in a few seconds you see what looks like legs grow downward.

    The only thing I found that kills it is baking soda. Take a tiny pinch and sprinkle it onto the spit atop the water and you'll see it die off. I tried all sorts of stuff they claim helps, but this one I can see for myself. Also, sea salt is pretty good.

    You can drink it. I take about a ¼ of a teaspoon in some water. You can also do it as a rinse for your mouth. Look up the spit test and baking soda/candida. I'm not sure how you could do it for a cat, maybe a q-tip swipe their mouth and hold it to the water's edge in the glass and see if it grows.

    You could also look up H.pylori for your babies. It is one thing I suspect for Rotten. Also, probiotics are good for them.

    I know there is no comfort you can find. I still feel the guilt of not doing more and trusting the vets we did.

    I feel God may have killed him just to punish me for things I done and said in my questioning of him. So I believe Rotten was just a way to teach me a lesson. He is the only one to went through what he did. We had up to 6 cats all the same food/water/etc. But, he was my cat and I felt that the most.

    I hope you will in time let some more babies into your life. I believe you have love to give. But, look up about taking care of pets he has some great ideas to do before things get bad.

    I hope you will be okay.

    I hope this works. I've tried 3 times to post. This site may need some work.

    1. Thanks, Clark, for your comments. I'm also sorry about your baby and losing him the way you did. I learned so much through this experience - how to take care of myself with my own candida but also how to take care of my little kids. It was really hard making decisions about what they needed b/c cats have different systems than we do and don't tolerate the detox items like humans (garlic, onions, peppermint...) Thanks for the tip on I will definitely check it out, and yes, I do plan to get more kids. They really made my life more complete!